How to Replace the Flush Cable Mechanism on an RV Toilet

How to Replace the Flush Cable Mechanism on an RV Toilet
RVs can be crowded spaces depending on the size of your rig, how many people are in the RV, and how much gear you bring along. The last thing you need in this confined space is a blocked, backed up or non-flushing toilet. Most RV toilets have either a side hand flush mechanism or a foot flush pump. Over time, these devices wear out, requiring replacements or fixes to the cables or mechanisms. Before you do the replacement, find out what style your commode uses, and get the appropriate replacement kit.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flat and Phillips screwdriver
  • Replacement flush cable kit
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulk gun
Step 1
Drain the water out of the toilet by disconnecting the water to the toilet, and then draining into the black water holding tank. Disconnect the black hose line leading out from the toilet and to the black water holding tank. Close any open hoses or nozzles.
Step 2
Unscrew the cable flush mechanism if it is a side/handle flush. Find the cables and mechanism on the lower portion of the bowl, on the outside. Take care not to damage the rubber gasket around the flush handle spindle and spool. Inspect the gasket for dry-rot or tears. Replace the gasket if you find damage.
Step 3
Mount the new flush mechanism into the existing area for the flusher. Align the screw holes and attach with the screws, turning them to the right until hand tight. If you replaced the gasket, caulk the area around the rubber gasket and flush handle with the silicone caulk and let dry.
Step 4
Unscrew the toilet bowl attachments where it meets the RV bathroom floor if you are changing a foot pump style flush mechanism. Push the bowl back toward a wall, exposing the front underside of the toilet legs, where the foot flush pedal is installed. Unscrew the old foot pedal and inspect the rubber gasket around the pump/flush area. Replace if there is dry rot or tears to the gasket.
Step 5
Position the replacement foot pedal/flush mechanism into the attachment area and align the screw holes. Screw the flusher into position, turning the screw to the right until tight using the screwdriver. Place the toilet bowl back onto the floor and align the attachment holes with the toilet holes and screw in to attach. Seal the base of the toilet with a thin line of silicone caulk.
Step 6
Attach the black water holding tank hose and all other plumbing fixtures to the toilet. Turn the water back on and fill the bowl or holding area with water. Flush the toilet several times to prime the pump, flushing mechanism and bowl.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.